Ho! Ho! Ho! The Blunt Truth is back and ready to get his Grinch on to festively tell 2023 to fuck the fuck off. (This is the graceful holiday season phrasing we settled on.)
Now when we last scribbled here, yours Bluntly had just sat down with Vladimir Putin and gotten the Russian dictator to confess his real reasons for starting the war in Ukraine. (It was a marvelous conversation with a charming murderous dictator.)
Since then, we’ve had a year that had many waxing poetic about the halcyon days of the pandemic. Hollywood was on strike for half the year, which was hardly problematic because War+ was streaming mercifulessly, ubiquitously, ceasefirelessly… War was Everything Everywhere All At Once. (Nothing Happening in a Vortex at Scattered Intervals by Paul Thomas Anderson was our pick for best picture, in case you were wondering.)
And so it was that all this warfare, tumult and unease enabled and provoked so many seemingly milquetoast characters to finally find their voice on the eve of destruction. Who knew that the previously silent had a much better ring to them when they weren’t sounding off?
C-List celebrities cancelled themselves with A+ vigor with their unapologetic, foolhardy rants like so many Southwest Airline flights. There was so much frothing at the mouth you couldn’t tell if your friend was sloppily drinking a mocha with whipped cream or just really worked up about current events.
Oh, there was tweeting, posting, roasting, emoting, emojing, dunking, quoting, crowing, caterwauling galore. It seemed to come from every device and ulterior orifice. Which is why, dear reader, in 2023 we finally learned to loathe… opinions. Yes, opinions. (Well-reasoned arguments, you’re on our radar, too, so watch your back in 2024.)
Stop the manifesting, it’s true! This was the year at The Blunt Truth we understood we are not afraid of what AI will do to us in 10 years time. We’re more horrified of what nonsense, Cuz, you’re going to spew in the next five seconds. Because arguing was fun in the before times when it was just with the people we didn’t like. Before we knew what bilge was lodged in the Black Lodge of the pontificating side of our brethren’s brains.
This was the year when we wanted to be asked a preemptory question: ‘Dear Blunt Truth, do you want to know my opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or anything else of consequence of which I am remarkably high-pitched and resoundingly low-knowledge?’
To which we wanted to answer: Well, let me ask you a question first, Friend’O: are you the prize-winning, ever-humble author of a celebrated, sagacious hit column residing in the world famous, profoundly prestigious cannabis culture literary salon haven otherwise known as Head Magazine?
Oh, what’s that? You’re not? Ah then, perhaps then in that case, instead of spouting off on that which you do not know, you should get thee to a nunnery and keep your damn clam cloistered shut. (We believe in equal opportunity, so men can mute themselves in the monastery, while those identifying as trans can be taciturn in the… Trans Temple?)
In fact, we’ll all chip in, Friend, and get you one Dos Equis, call you the most interesting man in the world (or woman and so forth!) if you’d just be so kind as to keep us guessing on what “you really think” about this or that war or X-people’s rights.
Because, really, we need your ill-informed opinion like we need another X-Men spinoff. We’d like to take a boot to your unrequested political tirade as much as we’d like to punt kick another Marvel series reboot.
In this country you have the right to free speech, the right to remain silent, and the right to believe everything you hear on cable news. But please give us the privilege of pressing the Do Not Share button.
The Blunt Truth Person Of The Year: Clarence ‘Cleaning Up’ Thomas
Of course we can’t put 2023 in the dirt without announcing the winner of this year’s ‘Blunty’ for TBT ‘Man of the Year.’ This year it’s none other than Supreme Court justice Clarence ‘Cleanin’ Up’ Thomas. Yes, this illustrious award goes to the man who took corruption and graft to a new level of unseemliness in a Court where seemingly anything now goes.
In fact, of all the nettlesome stories that churned ’23, perhaps none was more galling than the revelations – one after another after another after another after another – about the Supreme Court grifter-in-chief, Clarence Thomas. Whether it’s taking fancy trips from billionaire’s with business before the court, or accepting extravagant gifts from conservative kingmakers, or getting another “friend” billionaire’s loan for a 40-foot refitted tour bus “forgiven” – this Supreme Court justice has proven he knows more about self-prostitution than he does about the U.S. Constitution.
This is a justice unmasked to be more Santos and Soprano than Supreme. (May he soon be uncloaked.) Always down to suppress the right to privacy, he heralds his own as cover for his penchant for profiteering off his life-time appointed seat. Congratulations Clarence on the big achievement!
We at The Blunt Truth remember those salad days way back when “Justice” Thomas was merely a hyper-conservative hypocrite accused of being a serial sexual harasser, who then bullied his way to joining the nation’s highest court. We’ll even wager a Coke and a pubic hair that you can’t remember the grossness of the allegations when this peeping Thomas was first appointed to the court.
Back in 1991, especially after his testimony before Congress, we thought no one in Clarence Thomas’s family could possibly be crazier than this dude. Thirty years later, we now know that his wife Ginni, a proud election-denier, insurrectionist, card-carrying Qanoner and conspiracy theorist, has lapped him at least that many times over. Plus, she uses SHOUTY CAPS in her texts in a way that makes you feel if Clarence ever forgets to take the trash out on time, his life could be in danger. Those Bonk City texts would be a raucous acid trip into right-wing phantasmagoria — if the Ginnis of the world were not on the precipice of seizing power.
But back to our TBT ‘Man of the Year,’ Clarence himself. It’s fitting that a judge made famous for adoring pornography has been caught so in flagrante, and ironic that he is so Scarlet Letter prudish in his rulings. He likes to often chirp to the other justices, “Porn for Clarence T, but not for thee. Tee-hee-hee.” Of course it’s just our opinion that we’ve actually heard him say that.
To be sure, there’s a part of us that feels admiration for Justice Thomas’s corruptive sticktuitiveness in the face of all the reportage on his scandals. The luxury trips, the free-bee $250k RV, his son’s tuition bill, all paid by billionaires – and yet the man will not step down, nay, he won’t even admit he did anything unethical because… well, why should he? After all, this was the plan all along.
New reporting tells the fuller story. After the first decade of his tenure, we now know Thomas threatened to resign over “salary concerns.” The religious right got the message straightaway and were not about to lose their most compliant jurist. So over the past twenty years Clarence has been “sponsored” by billionaires with said trips, gifts and grants to make up for his paltry $350k-a-year salary. Because this Supreme Court justice believes: what’s the point in always ruling for the one percent if you’re not going to get a chance to live like them? Du-uh.
Clarence Thomas wins The Blunty for encapsulating the unapologetic shamelessness of those in high power that mock, and rot our system of governance with their sleaze and then, even when caught red-handed, still refuse to leave.
He wins the trophy for ‘23, but here’s hoping we can somehow show Clarence, and his many cousins in corruption, the door in 2024. Just because they’ve gotten away with it so far, doesn’t have to mean they always will. But, again, that’s just our opinion. And you know how we feel about those.
David Rock is a television producer and produced playwright. He believes in vices, not viceroys.